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The case notes of 394 adults with bleeding disorders registered at our centre together with those of the 72 patients who had died since 1971 were reviewed. 36/72 deceased patients had evidence of HCV infection. Liver decompensation was present at time of death in six. 274 (70%) of the currently registered patients had received factor concentrate or cryoprecipitate and 174 of these were screened for HCV infection. 76% of tested patients were RIBA positive. 87% of RIBA-positive patients were RT-PCR positive. 50 RIBA-positive patients, including nine who were HIV infected, have undergone percutaneous liver biopsy following appropriate factor infusion with no complication. The biopsy was assessed using a Histological Activity Index (HAI) ranging from 0 to 13. Patients with HAI > or = 6 were offered treatment with interferon. Patients with HAI < 6 were followed up with a view to re-biopsy in 2-3 years to assess progression. The median HAI was 4.5 (range 0-10) with HAI > or = 6 in 13 cases (27%). HAI was not correlated with duration of infection. haemophilia severity. RT-PCR status. HIV status or HCV genotype. Liver biopsy, a safe procedure in our hands, is an important investigation in HCV-infected patients to assess suitability for interferon therapy.


Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date





383 - 388


Adult, Biopsy, Needle, Blood Coagulation Disorders, Blood Component Transfusion, Clinical Protocols, Female, Hepatitis C, Humans, Male, Retrospective Studies, Viral Hepatitis Vaccines